Rapid Context Analysis Lead Research Advisor Scope of Work

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 1 March 2021
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Closing on 12 March 2021
  • Current

Job Description


A nonprofit international development organization founded in 1971, Pact works on the ground in more than 30 countries to improve the lives of those who are poor and marginalized. We strive for a world where all people exercise their voice, build their own solutions and take ownership of their future.


The Civil Society Support Program Phase 2 (CSSP2) is a capacity development programme designed to support the development of Ethiopia’s civil society to “contribute to inclusive and accountable governance; and an improved environment for the promotion and protection of the human rights of all Ethiopians”. To achieve this grand objective, the programme has identified three thematic areas (gender transformation, young people and citizen-state engagement) and has taken a human rights-based approach as its key strategic approach. In addition to funding local civil society organizations (CSOs), the programme provides technical and capacity development support through various means. CSSP2 also works with relevant government stakeholders to build their capacity and create space and platforms for effective civic engagement and learnings.

CSSP2 is funded by the people of United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway. The programme is managed by the British Council, in consortium with Pact UK and Social Development Direct. The programme has established five regional Hubs at Dessie, Dire Dawa, Assosa, Hawassa and Addis Ababa-reporting to the secretariat in Addis Ababa to provide closer support to CSOs.

CSSP2 includes a broad set of analytical exercises aimed at informing programme interventions. This included baseline surveys, capacity assessments, and a series of Applied Political Economy Analysis (APEA) aimed at identifying and describing underlying incentives and contextual dynamics that may influence CSSP2 programming.

Since CSSP2’s inception in 2018, the Ethiopian context has undergone a number of dramatic changes. The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflict in Tigray and Benshangul Gumuz Regions, and rapidly evolving internal politics in the run-up to the 2021 election have altered or challenged many of the critical assumptions underpinning CSSP2’s interventions. This rapid context analysis will update the CSSP2 team’s knowledge of the current operating context, building on the knowledge generated through past studies and environmental scans, and provide concrete advice on what these changing dynamics mean for the programme design and implementation in the current and extension period.

Consultancy Objectives

In close collaboration with the CSSP2 project team and in consultation with Pact’s Governance team, the consultant will serve as the lead investigator and author for a rapid context analysis. This will require leading on the development of the research methodology, data collection plan and data collection tools, providing remote support to the team collecting primary data collection, and leading the analysis and documentation of research findings. The research is expected to be conducted between March and April 2021.

Research Scope

The CSSP2 team requires a rapid context analysis better to understand recent changes in the Ethiopian context and how they affect CSSP2’s work across its three thematic focus areas. Importantly, this work will employ an applied political economy lens and will integrate questions related to contextual factors or power dynamics as appropriate throughout the study. The rapid context analysis will conclude with concrete recommendations for the CSSP2 team, including potential focus areas for future APEAs, to guide the programme through the current phase of the project (scheduled to close in August 2021) and inform the design of activities under a potential extension phase.

The final research scope will be determined in consultation with the CSSP2 project team and will likely focus on geographies covered by each of CSSP2’s regional hubs. A sample of focus cities and regions will be selected based on the feasibility of conducting research with limited mobility.

Duties and Responsibilities

Specific duties for this assignment include the following:

1. Review CSSP2 project documents/past analyses and meet with CSSP2 programme leadership to discuss project’s emerging focus and role of CSSP2

team in research process. Conduct rapid literature review of secondary research as necessary.

2. In close collaboration with the CSSP2 staff and Pact Governance team, finalize the study’s scope of work, draft and finalize the research methodology, research questions, provisional research tools, and data collection plans for both primary and secondary data.

3. Serve as an advisor to the local research advisor and project team during the primary data collection phase, including facilitating debriefs or collective analysis sessions as necessary.

4. Provide clear direction to local research consultant and project team on how to securely store and share collected data and to analyze the data for incorporation into a final product. Provide feedback on draft outlines and interim products for final deliverables.

5. Lead the drafting of the final product in close collaboration with the local research consultant and the project team, finalizing the product with their feedback. The format of the final product (e.g., report, extended memo, slide deck, etc.) will be determined by the project team.

6. Present the findings and key recommendations from the process to the project team and donors as required.

7. Other tasks as agreed.


1. Final research methodology, research questions, provisional research tools, and data collection plans.

2. Final product capturing findings and recommendations.

3. Materials for donor and stakeholder presentations.

Estimated Level of Effort

We envision this to be a rapid assessment, and as a result anticipate the level of effort to be equal to or less than 20 days. This is an estimated figure, to be discussed and finalized with the identified candidate.

Skills and Qualifications

Basic requirements

- 8-10 years of relevant experience.

- A post-graduate or equivalent qualification/degree in Political Science, Sociology, Development Studies, Peace and Security Studies, or another relevant discipline.

- Demonstrated knowledge and experience designing and implementing participatory, actionable, and inclusive research.

- Excellent qualitative research skills, with demonstrated experience in developing data collection tools and facilitating stakeholder consultations.

- Strong oral and written communication skills.

- Fluency in English (oral, writing, and reading).

Preferred Qualifications

- Familiarity with the politico-legal and economic developments/trajectories in modern Ethiopia, including democratization/human rights protection and promotion.

- Experience conducting gender analyses or gender-sensitive qualitative research.

- Experience conducting political economy analysis.

- Demonstrated experience working with or managing highly adaptive programs, as well as applying conflict-sensitive approaches.

- Amharic language skills.

Submission of Expressions of Interest

Interested parties may submit the following documents with their expression of interest for this consultancy:

- Curriculum Vitae

- Technical proposal to perform the consultancy’s assignment (including an initial conceptual framework, research methodology, data collection methods and tools, sampling techniques, data analysis techniques/methods, proposed time frame, etc.) and an accompanying financial proposal

Please share these in electronic format to Lauren Keevill, Governance Officer at lkeevill@pactworld.org. Please reference the CSSP2 Context Analysis Lead Research Advisor in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the deadline for submissions is COB Eastern Time on March 12th, 2021.

About the Organization

At the heart of Pact is the promise of a better tomorrow. The promise of a healthy life. Of a decent livelihood. Of sustainable natural resources that benefit communities. Now more than ever in its 42-year history, Pact is helping millions of people who are poor and marginalized discover and build their own solutions and take ownership over their future.
Pact enables systemic solutions that allow those who are poor and marginalized to earn a dignified living, be healthy, and take part in the benefits that nature provides. Pact accomplishes this by strengthening local capacity, forging effective governance systems, and transforming markets into a force for development.

Pact is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, citizenship status, genetic information, matriculation, family responsibilities, personal appearance, credit information, tobacco use (except in the workplace), membership in an employee organization, or other protected classifications or non-merit factors.

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